Huskies command Ill State behind arc

By Eddie Garcia

DeKALB | Women’s basketball’s (4-1) offensive dominance continues as it defeated the Illinois State University Redbirds, (2-3) 108-66, to begin the season 4-1 for the first time since 1991.

NIU’s three-point frenzy continued against Illinois State as it scored 108 points on 13-for-25 shooting from behind the arc, two made shots shy of tying the single-game record, which was tied in the Huskies, 94-85, victory Tuesday against Chicago State University.

“You know it’s not a focus for us, but we have some kids on this team who really are shooting it well and like to shoot the three,” said Head Coach Lisa Carlsen. “We never go into a game and talk about ‘hey let’s make sure we get ‘X’ number shots up from behind the arc,’ or anything like that, but I think [we] have people, especially in the first five games, that are really confident shooting the basketball.”

Senior guard Ally Lehman and freshman guard Janae Poisson fueled the Huskie offense early on, leading the team with a combined 28 first half points on 11-for-14 shooting from the field. Lehman recorded her first career triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

It was NIU’s third triple-double in program history and first since 1995.

Poisson finished with 19 points going a perfect 5-for-5 in three-point field goals.

Carlsen said when the Huskies are comfortable with each other and all players on the floor are on the same page, then it’s difficult to realize the points the team is putting on the scoreboard.

“I don’t think you really realize the points you’re putting up until, you know, maybe at halftime when you look at the stat sheet and think ‘wow that’s a big quarter,’” Carlsen said. “But when it’s happening, you don’t think about it.”

Five Huskies finished in double-digits for the second consecutive game as Carlsen’s fast paced offense came into Saturday’s game with an average of 94 points, ranking as the fourth-highest average in the country behind University of Maryland (102), University of Michigan (95.8) and Ohio State University (94.5).

Sophomore guard Courtney Woods finished with a game-high 23 points in 29 minutes of play. Senior forward Cassidy Glenn supplemented the offense with 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting with  eight rebounds and four assists.

NIU led the game across the board in bench points 35-20, rebounds 57-31 and overall field goal percentage 51.8 percent to 36 percent. The Redbirds had only one lead change in first quarter as the Huskies maintained a double-digit lead through most of the game.

The Huskies look to continue their winning streak 7 p.m. Wednesday against the Drake University Bulldogs in Des Moines, Iowa.